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Will the Finance Minister Hint at Reforms ?

February 26, 2010

Government as growth biased and one of the key premise of positive outlook on India is the restoration of Indian GDP growth to an 8-9% trajectory over next 12 to 15 months. The Indian parliament’s agenda for the current budget session (apart from discussing the union budget) seems to signal a strong intent to move ahead on the long outstanding reform agenda. The agenda includes 16 pending bills for consideration and passing (of these 10 to be taken up only in case standing committee reports are presented in time), and introduction of 63 new bills.

Bills that Matter to Stock Markets – Bills listed for consideration and passing include the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill (for amendments in coal mining, permitting auction of coal blocks and paving way for Coal India’s listing), and Insurance Bill (key objective is to raise FDI cap from 26% to 49%). Banking Regulation Amendment bill, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill, Land Acquisition Amendment Bill and Rehabilitation and Re-settlement Bill (to facilitate easier land acquisition).

Does the Manmohan Singh Government has the Will – Since taking power last year, this is the first time; the UPA administration has
decisively put many of these long-awaited bills on the business agenda. Politically, the timing is also propitious with the next state election more than six months away, positive coalition dynamics and a government that has firmly signaled the compulsion to return back to the pending reform agenda.

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